All Saints started life in a farm building -well to be more precise, it was in a barn - and not all of the barn at that: only the top floor, so you got all the lovely aromas of the farm animals and ahhmm....fresh air whilst you learnt. It was in the Chapel House Farm on Sutton Lane way back in 1831 - and yes, that was before they had playstations - so long ago in fact, that they didn't even have cars!
As you can imagine the new school needed a lot of equipment during it's first year. Things like computers, central heating, mucking out....... well, actually no, apart from the mucking out that is, as back then there were no computers and no one used central heating! What they actually got were things like quills for writting, quill dressers so they had something for writing on, pencutters - surprisingly enough for cutting pens - a sealing wax marker (their version of a brand label), 16 yards (a yard is about the same as a meter today) of white ribbon and needles. Oh, and most importantly, back then you had to pay for the privelage of going to school!
In 1837 a new school building was built on land given to the Church of England by Richard Arkwright where the infant playground is now, but he insisted that there were some conditions.........
1, There must be a Sunday School and a Day School.
2, All students must go to All Saints Chapel every Sunday and no school subjects could be taught on that day.
3, The Master and Mistress were to be a person of genuine piety and good education, an accepted member of the Church of England and must recieve communion at All Saints.
Oh!, and just so no one forgot he gave the land. He put a stone plaque on the building, the remains of which are now in the wall of the infant playground as you come into the school. It used to read:
The new school building was described as a "commodious building" - that means large and roomy to the rest of us! The building was a long narrow, two story, stone building with one large classroom downstairs and another upstairs. At the side of the downstairs room there was a "Gallery", a stepped tier of backless seats for infants (basically a row of seats as in a football stadium, one behind the other but slightly higher than the one before it). This allowed the teacher to see exactly what everyone was doing - there was no hiding behind the person in front of you, and sitting at the back of the class trying to avoid the teacher only meant that you were higher up and more easily seen. The upstairs room was used to teach Standards II, III, IV, V and VI (their equivelant to Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) which meant that upto five classes could be taught at the same time in the same room - that's way to noisey if you ask me !
Although times were hard during the 1800's for many children and their families some treats and books were given by the school to it's students. Most of the teaching was done on a blackboard and the children used slates instead of paper, as paper was still expensive back then - although some of the better off students did get to use pencils and paper.
In 1889 Peter Arkwright granted the Managers (their equivalant to our school Governors) some land next to the school to build a house for the Master (headteacher) to stay in, at a cost of £19 per year. Now that might not sound a lot, but back then that was roughly one third of the headmasters pay for a whole year! This house is now the Curate's house on the main road past the school.
In 1897 the Education Authorities demanded alterations to the school to increase its size; but at a meeting with Parishioners it was decided not to enlarge the existing building but build an entirely new one! The new school building was completed and formally opened on Friday 26th December 1902 with local dignitries there for its inspection. When the school opened there was enough space to teach 413 children - they didn't use the hall to play or do P.E., they used it for teaching and classes could have more students in them, than they can now - imagine how crowded it must have been back then, like sardines in a can!
In 1918 when Canon Adams retired after 42 years as Chairman of the Managers, the School Inspector said "All Saints' Church of England School, in every respect, management, building, attendance and efficiency, held the premier position over all other schools in the neighbourhood". A fact that I'm sure todays students would agree is also true now.
In 1931 All Saints became a fully fledged Primary School for 5 to 11 year olds, as a new Secondary School had been built on Hibbert Lane (Marple Ridge) that was better equipped to teach post primary school aged children.
In 1938 the County Education Committee gave a grant of £3 per year for the Vicarage Field to be used as playing fields for the school; and this year also saw the school re-graded to a 244 student school to keep in line with new teaching practises (basically smaller class sizes in bigger areas - no more sardines in a can!). You'll be pleased to hear that in this year there was still no Staffroom for teachers and that the Head Teachers desk was in the Hall - so there was no hiding!
In 1951 the school, in need of much renovation, became a Local Authority Controlled school and £6000 was spent repairing the school building.
In 1964 the school was extended and adapted to fulfill all the requirements of a "Full one form entry Primary School".
Sources for this material include (but are not restricted to) :
With kindest permission Mr Graeme Brock.
History of Education in Marple 1603 - 1971 by Gladys A. Swindells (B.A.)
All Saints Marple Building Centenary 1880 - 1980 by J. E. Hague
Marple and Stockport Libraries with a wealth of freely available information.
Past and present students and teachers of All Saints (too many to list but none forgotten)
And of course everyone else who helped make this page possible !